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Do Dogs Really Dream?

Cedarcide blog post image, Do Dogs Really Dream

If you’re anything like us, every time your dog whimpers or twitches in their sleep you wonder: what are they dreaming about? More importantly, do dogs even dream? And If so, do they also have nightmares? As pet parents, these questions have always fascinated us, too. After a little digging, we found some answers. Here’s a short guide to dogs and their dreams

 

Do Dogs Really Dream?

Researchers are confident that they do. It turns out dog brains are more similar to human brains than you might expect. As a result, the dream patterns of dogs are not that much different from ours. Because studies have also revealed that dogs experience the same stages of electrical activity during sleep as those seen in humans, scientists are quite certain dogs do in fact dream.

 

What Do Dogs Dream About?

The subject matter of human dreams is strongly associated with our daily activities. It would stand to reason, the same would go for dogs. Scientists tested out this theory and found “that dogs dream doggy things . . . Pointers will point at dream birds, and Doberman Pinschers will chase dream burglars. The dream pattern in dogs seems to be very similar to the dream pattern in humans.” Just like in real like, your dog’s dreams are full of running, playing and eating. And, yes—your dog probably dreams about you, too. A lot. (blush emoji). Researchers believe that also like humans, dogs probably experience nightmares as well.

Did you know the size, breed and personality of your dog also determines how they dream? Researchers believe small dogs dream more frequently than larger dogs, but that each dream is relatively short, about 10 minutes in length. Larger dogs experience fewer, but also longer dreams. And puppies and senior dogs tend to dream more often than middle-aged canines.

 

 

How to Tell When Your Dog is Dreaming

About 20 minutes after falling asleep, dogs enter REM sleep, the stage at which they begin to dream. If at this point you witness muscle twitches, quiet barking, or eye movement, your dog is likely dreaming. A word of caution, never attempt to wake a dog that appears to be dreaming or having a nightmare. Doing so can startle your pup, causing aggression or even a bite.

 

Have a cute photo or video of your dog sleeping or dreaming? We’d love to see it! Share it with us over Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

 

How to Trim Your Dog’s Nails: 5 Tips

Cedarcide blog post image, How to Trim Your Dog's Nails: 5 Tips

Trimming our dog’s nails is sort of like oil changes—it’s super important, and yet most of us don’t do it often enough. But it’s not that big of a deal, right? Well, no, it kind of is—regular nail trimmings are crucial to the health and well being of your canine. In fact, if you fail to keep your pup’s nails clipped, you can really cause them a lot of pain. Long toenails lead to joint pain which, if left untreated, can cause lifelong arthritic complications. So whether you do it or a professionals does it, you really need to trim your dog’s nails at least once a month (at least!). But don’t sweat it, with the following tips and some patience, you’ll be successfully clipping your dog’s nails in no time.


Get Educated

First thing’s first, figure out what you’re doing. The worst thing you can do is wing it: you could end up injuring your pup, traumatizing them to nail-trimming forever. The best way is to ask your vet for a quick tutorial, but at the very least watch an online instructional video or read a how-to guide (kind of like the one you’re reading right now 😉). Take your time, be patient, and you’ll master this nail-trimming thing in no time.


Start Early, Start Slow

The earlier you acclimate your canine to getting their nails trimmed, the less likely both you and your dog will dread it. Before clipping any nails, start slow and get your pup used to being around the clippers and having their feet and toes touched. Introduce the clippers daily for a few days leading up to their first clipping session. Use plenty of praise and treats in the process.


Get the Right Tools

OK, so you’ve got a plan, now it’s time to get the right tools for the job:

  • Nail clippers. There are three main types: guillotine-style, scissors-style and pliers-style. Unless your dog is abnormally large, it’s best to go with a relatively small pair of clippers—they’re simply easier to control, and therefore safer for your dog. We suggest using one with a guide to help prevent accidentally cutting into the quick (the sensitive inner part of the nail which contains blood vessels and nerve endings).
  • Treats. Rewarding your pup throughout the nail clipping experience will make your life significantly easier. The better the experience is for your dog, the better the experience will be for you. In general, reward after trimming each nail.
  • Clotting powder. Styptic powder, or a natural alternative like baking soda or organic corn starch, will help clot your dog’s blood in the event you slip up and snag the quick. If you exercise caution, hopefully you’ll never encounter this issue, but just in case an accident occurs, it’s best to have some handy.


Cut at a 45 Degree Angle, a Little at a Time

There’s no rush, so cut just a little at a time. A few tricks to remember:

  • Trim nails in a well lit room.
  • Hold the paw firmly but gently, separate the toes using your fingers, but don’t squeeze them—that can be painful.
  • Cut at a 45 degree angle.
  • Avoid cutting the quick by stopping as soon as you see the white inner portion of the nail. If you’re clipping the nail and it begins to feel soft or spongy, stop! You’re cutting into the quick.
  • Don’t forget to trim the dewclaws, too, if your pup has them. If you don’t clip them regularly, they can start to grow back towards your dog’s leg and pierce the skin—ouch!


Don’t Slack—Keep Up the Good Work

Trimming your own dog’s nails is no small feat—pat yourself on the back! Now that you’ve got the process down, get ready to do it all over again in 2-4 weeks. Regularly maintaining your dog’s nails is a matter of quality of life, so don’t let it slip.


Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our 
Facebook page and let us know what you think!

Should You Let Your Dog Sleep in the Bed?

Do you let your dog sleep in your bed? If so, you’re not alone. A survey by the American Pet Products Association found that about half of all puppy parents share a bed with their dogs. Whether you do or don’t, you’ve probably heard conflicting opinions about the subject. Some experts discourage pet owners from inviting their dogs into bed, while others argue that the pros far outweigh the cons. We know—it can be a little confusing. To help clear up the matter, here’s what you need to know about letting your dog sleep in your bed.


The Cons

There are three primary arguments against sleeping in bed with your dog: Sleep disturbance, allergies/asthma, and behavior issues. The first is not entirely unfounded. In one survey, 53% of pet owners reported their dogs regularly disturb their sleep throughout the night. Which, in the long run, can have negative health effects. You see, dogs are what’s called polyphasic sleepers, meaning they have multiple sleep/wake cycles throughout the day (humans, by contrast, are monophasic sleepers, meaning one sleep cycle each 24 hour period). These extra periods of wakefulness explain why our pups wake us throughout the night. While studies have consistently shown dogs do in fact interfere with our sleep, other studies, including research by the Mayo Clinic, suggests this disturbance is basically negligible.

Allergies and asthma are other common reasons health experts advise against sharing a bed with your dog. It’s not just pet allergies either. Because dogs are often outside, exploring nature and brushing against all sorts of plant life, they can be a serious source of allergens. The Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America advises allergy sufferers keep dogs, not just out of their beds, but out of their bedrooms entirely. When it comes to allergies/asthma, the issue seems pretty cut and dry: if you have them, it’s probably not a good idea to share a bed with your dog.

Behavior concerns are the last common argument against co-sleeping with canines. While there’s little to no definitive evidence either way, the argument goes that co-sleeping can aggravate dominance and territorial issues, sometimes leading to aggression or even separation anxiety. But it’s hard to know which comes first: the anxiety or the sharing of the bed. Is the dog anxious because they’re sharing our bed, or are we sharing our bed because they tended to be a little anxious in the first place? This isn’t a problem for many pet parents, but if your dog shows aggression towards you or your partner—like growling when they try to come to bed—it might be time to reevaluate your sleeping arrangements.

The Pros

You’ve heard the drawbacks, but what about the positives of sleeping with your pup? Turns out, there are plenty. For one, spending time with dogs naturally increases oxytocin levels in our bodies, a hormone that encourages feelings of contentment and happiness, which might actually improve sleep quality. A dog’s rhythmic breathing, too, is said to regulate and slow the human heart rate, which can be conducive to better sleep. Also, some of us just feel safer when sleeping with our dogs, and you can’t put a price on that kind of security. On a strictly subjective level, sleeping with dogs can be a big mood boost, strengthening the bond with our pups and making them feel happier in the process, too. Not to mention, the snugly comfort and physical warmth that comes with having your dog right next to you in bed is awesome.

 

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, it’s up to you. Now that you’re more informed, weigh the evidence and make the call yourself. If the pros clearly outweigh the cons or vice-versa, then there’s your answer. If you’re currently sleeping with your dog, and don’t suffer from allergies, have a compromised immune system, or experience behavior or sleep issues, then there’s probably no reason to change things up. Overall though, I think most of us who share beds with our puppers know the goods almost always outweigh the bads, even if we get woken up a few times throughout the night.

 

Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page and let us know what you think!

5 Tips for Dog-Proofing Your Home


Just like baby-proofing, dog-proofing our homes is essential to keeping our loved ones safe. Dogs are naturally curious, and if given the opportunity, will explore any and every area of the home. By making several adjustments around the house, you can help prevent choking hazards, electrocution and maybe even the loss of your pet. Here’s 5 tips to dog-proof your home.

 

Use Baby Gates or a Kennel

Let’s get real: You can’t be everywhere at once, and you can’t foresee every possible item, nook and cranny your pup might get into. To make your life much easier, use baby gates or a kennel to limit your dog’s movement and exposure to potentially harmful areas of the home. This approach is especially useful when it comes to new rescues and puppies.

Keep Everything That’s Not For Your Dog Out of Reach

This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many household items pose a threat to your dog. Things you might not normally worry about could actually be life threatening. For example, we all know to keep foods that are poisonous to our pups out of reach—like chocolate and grapes—but did you know dog-safe foods can be just as dangerous? The internet is littered with sad stories of pet owners losing their fur babies to food packaging materials, like chip bags and snack wrappers. Moral of the story: We can never be too careful when it comes to our pets.

While the list is seemingly infinite, here are some tips for keeping common household items away from your dog:

  • Organize your home, and do your very best to keep it free of clutter (trinkets and other little decorative items are common choking hazards)
  • Consider installing child-proof latches on all cabinets
  • Always keep toilet lids closed
  • Keep alcohol and tobacco products out of reach
  • Batteries are commonly lethal if ingested, keep them stored in a firmly sealed container or drawer
  • Verify that all houseplants are pet-safe and non-toxic if ingested
  • Keep lotions, cosmetics and other beauty products off sinks and out of reach
  • Keep toothpaste, floss, mouthwash and other toiletries out of reach
  • Never leave laundry items and shoes within reach of your pup (strings and buttons are common choking hazards)
  • Organize and pick up kids’ toys immediately
  • Keep all foods and food packaging off counter tops and out of reach
  • Store medications in tightly closed, out-of-reach places
  • Properly cover or fence off fireplaces
  • Give your dog chew toys to prevent them from chewing on household items
  • Replace household chemicals—such as cleaners, detergents and pesticides—with non-toxic alternatives. Naturally sourced insecticides are a good choice, as are brands like Seventh Generation, Mrs. Meyer’s and Method when it comes to cleaners and soaps

Cover and Latch Your Trash Can

Dumpster diving for goodies can easily make your pup sick. To avoid this problem, purchase a trash can your dog can’t get into—such as a sturdy metal option, or one with a latch or lock. If you’ve got an especially curious and willful dog, choosing a trash can you can store under the sink or in a cabinet might be your best bet.

Organize Cables and Wires

Electrical cords and wires are some of the household’s most dangerous items when it comes to pets. From Blu ray players and televisions to lamps and computers, our homes are filled with these electrocution hazards. Properly organizing or covering cables (and electrical outlets) could save your pup a burnt mouth and a scary visit to the vet. For more tips on pet-proofing household cables and wires, click here.

 

Dog-Proof the Garage and Yard, Too

People often ignore the garage and yard when dog-proofing their homes, assuming they can easily control their pup’s access to these areas. But as seasoned pet owners know, dogs have a way of getting into almost anything at one point or another. Here’s some things you should definitely address:

  • Keep the garage floor clean and free of clutter, especially with regard to chemicals like antifreeze and oil
  • Store all chemicals and other hazardous liquids in high out-of-reach places
  • Store all tools and other sharp objects in high out-of-reach places
  • Verify that all garden plants are pet-safe and non-toxic if ingested
  • Switch from chemical-based yard treatments and pesticides to non-toxic, naturally sourced alternatives
  • Check your gates and fencing for holes your pet could use to exit the yard
  • Secure open water areas like pools and spas (these are serious drowning hazards for pets)

 

Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page and let us know what you think!

7 Reasons Your Dog Has Diarrhea, And What You Can Do About It

Cedarcide blog post image, 7 Reasons Your Dog Has Diarrhea

Part of being a doggy parent is dealing with doggy diarrhea. It’s gross, messy, and no one likes to see their pup suffer with it. Identifying the cause is crucial to relieving this unpleasant condition as soon as possible—plus, you might just be able to prevent it from happening again. From there, you can try a few natural home remedies to address your pup’s upset tummy. Let’s start with the most common causes.

Remember: There’s no substitute for a professional veterinarian. We suggest consulting a vet before attempting home remedies on your own. If the diarrhea persists for over 24 hours, your pup’s behaving strangely, or their stool looks unusual even for diarrhea, consult your vet as soon as possible.

A Natural Detox

Diarrhea is never comfortable or welcome—not for pet parents and definitely not for pets. But that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes diarrhea is simply the body detoxing itself of bacteria, toxins or other contaminants. In essence, the body is trying to flush out potentially harmful items before they can do any more harm.

A Change in Diet

A simple change in diet is often enough to cause doggy diarrhea. Sometimes it takes our pups a few days to adjust to a new feeding routine, and diarrhea is a common symptom of such a change. If you need to alter your dog’s diet, do it gradually over time when at all possible.

They Ate Something Gross, or Toxic

This one’s so common vets have a name for it: “Garbage gut,” and it’s one of the leading causes of dog diarrhea. As pet parents know, dogs like to pull items from the trash and eat them indiscriminately. Rotten food, too much food, food that’s toxic to canines—all can give your pup the runs.

Stress

Emotional stress like trauma, loss of a loved one, or a change in scenery can upset your dog’s tummy, leading to diarrhea.

Parasites

Parasites are a common cause of intestinal distress—including diarrhea. They’re easily picked up from unexpected water sources like ponds or puddles, or from eating animal poop. If your dog’s stool includes mucus, has white markings in it, or looks foamy, you should consult your vet to have them checked for intestinal parasites.

Allergy

If your pup’s diarrhea is accompanied by sneezing, scratching, paw chewing and wet eyes, a food allergy might be the cause. In this instance, diarrhea is a way for your dog’s body to remove the allergens before they cause further issue.

They Ate Something Inedible

From floss to packaging materials to toys, our pets can and will attempt to eat almost anything. Sadly, these items can become lodged in your dog’s stomach or intestinal tract, leading to diarrhea. Such occurrences can be life threatening, so if you suspect your dog may have something stuck in their tummy, you should consult a vet immediately.

Natural Home Remedies for Dog Diarrhea

Dog diarrhea is not normally serious, and usually resolves on its own in a few days. However, there are several natural home remedies that can help settle your pup’s stomach a little sooner. Here are some of the easiest and most effective:

Fasting
A 12-24 hour fast is typically the first method to try at home when dealing with a mild case of diarrhea (fasts do not include water—your pup will need lots of hydrating while they’re experiencing diarrhea). Consult a vet before trying this approach, however, as older dogs, younger dogs, ill dogs and some smaller dogs might not be a good fit for fasting.

White Rice
Replacing your dog’s normal food with boiled organic white rice is said to help relieve diarrhea. The bland nature of the rice can help settle the stomach, and the fiber can help firm ur your pup’s stool. Slowly reintroduce your dog’s normal diet over the next few days until things return to normal.

Plain Chicken
Plain boiled white chicken is also said to soothe dog’s suffering from diarrhea. This can be added to the white rice mentioned above if your dog handles the rice with no issue. Just make sure the chicken is skinless, boneless and free of herbs and spices. Again, gradually reintroduce your dog’s normal eating routine over the next several days.

Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to ourFacebook page and let us know what you think!

5 Potty Training Mistakes You’re Making With Your Puppy

Potty training a puppy or new rescue is not easy. It takes dedication, consistency and lots and lots of patience. As dog parents ourselves, we know avoiding mistakes can save you a ton of time in the long run, not to mention lead to better results. Here’s 5 common potty training mistakes you’ll want to avoid. 

 

Not Using a Crate or Kennel

Puppies need constant supervision—it’s both essential to properly training a pup, and a natural part of their maturing process (in nature puppies were traditionally guided around by older members of the pack). All of which is to say that a crate or kennel is an important tool for training young dogs, including potty training. By helping channel your dog’s natural instinct to keep their living space free of accidents, a crate can really speed up the house training process. Remember: the more accidents your pup has in the house, the more likely they are to use the bathroom inside again. Kennels can also be instrumental in helping pups develop their “hold time” between bathroom breaks.

 

Expecting Too Much Too Soon

Consistency is arguably the most important element in house training a new pup. Because it can take up to several months to fully potty train a dog, patiently sticking to your training routine is absolutely essential. It’s not uncommon for new puppy parents to experience a few days or weeks without accidents and then prematurely assume their puppy is house trained. But by breaking the repetition of your routine too soon, you can undo lots of the work you’ve put in to train your fur baby. Until you’ve had a month or two without accidents, chances are your pup isn’t quite house broken yet. If you stay consistent and keep using positive reinforcement, you’ll get there before you know it.

 

Not Properly Cleaning up Accidents

Not thoroughly cleaning up accident stains can come back to bite you in the long run. Simply cleaning up an accident until it’s no longer visible is not always sufficient. Our pups have powerful noses, and if they can still smell an accident spot, there’s a good chance they’ll revisit that area when they need to potty again. To prevent that from happening, trade in the traditional soap-and-water for a deodorizing enzyme-based cleaner. Also, avoid using ammonia-based cleaners, as such formulas can actually mimic the scent of urine, which will likely cause you more headaches in the future.

 

Using Potty Pads

Unless you’re limited by living in a high rise or have mobility concerns, potty pads are probably not a good idea. In fact, they can actually prolong or interrupt the potty training process. Potty pads have a way of confusing our pups by establishing a routine that says it’s OK to potty indoors sometimes. Oftentimes puppy parents will notice that when they remove the potty pads, their pup continually has accidents where the pads used to be. This is because the dog has been taught that a certain space indoors—where the potty pads were located—is fine for elimination. If you’re hoping for a speedy potty training experience, skip the pads.

 

Punishing for Accidents

This is the big one. This is the mistake almost every puppy parent makes at some point, and it’s the one that can be most damaging to your dog and their training. Keep in mind, your puppy is brand new to the world, accidents are going to happen. Rubbing your dog’s nose in urine or feces or spanking them isn’t going to make accidents happen less often. Such actions will likely only serve to confuse or scare your dog. Remember: our pups have short term memories and they’re unlikely to connect such disciplinary measures with the accident they had a few minutes ago. Positive reinforcement that incorporates praise and reward is the best approach to a well-trained puppy.

 

Bonus Tip (Use a Bell)!

One of our favorite potty training tips here at Cedarcide is simple and easy: Use a bell. By hanging a bell on the door and training your pup to use it you’ll always know when your dog needs a bathroom break. Check out this link for more info on using this strategy

 

Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page and let us know what you think!

5 Surprising Ways Apple Cider Vinegar Can Benefit Your Dog

For years, apple cider vinegar has been all the rage among natural lifestyle advocates for its many health benefits and uses throughout the home. But did you know apple cider vinegar can benefit your dog, too? From skin health to fresher breath, here’s 5 surprising ways apple cider vinegar can improve your pup’s life.

 

Dandruff

Nothing distracts from a shiny, healthy coat like doggy dandruff. Plus, if your pup has dandruff, it’s likely they also have itchy skin—and that’s no fun. A topical application of apple cider vinegar can lessen or temporarily eliminate canine dandruff, and by combating itchy, dry skin, it can also help prevent it from returning.

Mix a solution of 50/50 apple cider vinegar and water. After bathing your dog as normal, apply this solution to your pup’s fur using a spray bottle. Then, massage the spray into their coat using your hands. Do not spray on or near your dog’s face—use your hands to apply the solution to these sensitive areas. Be aware: If your pooch has any open wounds or scratches, the apple cider vinegar may irritate these areas. It might be best to wait until such issues have healed before using this approach.


Prevent Ear Infections


Does your dog suffer from recurring ear infections or itchy ears? Apple cider vinegar can help. Mix a solution of half purified water with half apple cider vinegar; then, soak a cotton ball with the mixture and use it to gently clean your dog’s ears and ear flaps. (Use a cotton ball not a q-tip to avoid potentially damaging your pup’s inner ear.) This solution works to keep the ear clean (and therefore help prevent infection) by removing dirt and other pollutants. It also helps stifle the growth of bacteria and fungi, known causes of ear infection.

If your pooch’s ears are red, swollen or have open wounds, the apple cider vinegar could sting these areas; it’s best to wait until such issues have been resolved before trying this solution.


Relieve Hot Spots 

Almost anything that causes skin irritation or itchiness can result in a hot spot. Once started, the skin only gets itchier, and unfortunately scratching further aggravates hot spots. Apple cider vinegar not only addresses many of the root causes of hot spots, but also helps relieve general skin irritation and itchiness. Mix one part purified water with one part apple cider vinegar; then, soak a cotton bowl with this solution and use it to dab the affected area.

Reapply daily or as needed until the problem improves. However, never use this method on open wounds or raw skin, as the apple cider vinegar could cause pain in these areas.


Breath Freshener



Fowl puppy breath can make it hard to spend quality one-on-one time with your dog. After all, a stinky mouth is not exactly conducive to cuddling. By adding a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to your dog’s food bowl each day, you can help fight the bacteria that causes bad breath. You should notice fresher breath in as little as a couple days.

 

Mange

Caused by mites, mange is an extremely itchy skin condition that often results in loss of hair and skin damage. Apple cider vinegar can help with both the mites and the irritation. Simply dilute apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle or bucket (roughly 70% ACD to 30% purified water) and thoroughly wet the affected area with the mixture. Do not rinse off the solution, let it air dry instead (excess moisture can be removed with a towel). Repeat daily or as needed. Having your pet stand in the bath will make the process much less messy.

 

Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page and let us know what you think!

What You Need to Know About Dog Ear Infections

If you have a dog, chances are you’ll face an ear infection sooner or later. Dog ear infections are common. In fact, they’re arguably the leading cause of veterinary visits in the U.S. They’re painful for our pups, and have a nasty habit of recurring, again and again. But what causes canine ear infections, and what are the symptoms? The following guide will help answer these questions, and provide some natural ways you can help deal with this common problem at home.

Remember: There’s no substitute for a professional veterinarian. We suggest consulting a vet before attempting holistic approaches on your own, if only to rule out other possible health conditions, and to verify that you are in fact dealing with an ear infection.

Causes

There are a variety of issues that cause ear infections in dogs. These are the most common:

  • Anatomy: certain breeds with hanging ears, like spaniels and retrievers, are more prone to ear infections than others.
  • Bacteria: this is the most common cause of canine ear infections.
  • Parasites: mites sometimes infest canine ears, especially in puppies.
  • Lifestyle: dogs that frequent the outdoors or commonly swim tend to experience ear infections more often, sometimes due to water or grass seed that’s become stuck in the ear.
  • Fungus: fungi, like yeast for example, can sometimes lead to infection.
  • Diet: poor and imbalanced diets are sometimes the source of recurring ear infection.

Symptoms

Here’s what to look for if you suspect an ear infection:

  • Frequent shaking or tilting of the head that favors one side.
  • Red or brown discharge
  • An odd, almost sweet, odor coming from the ear
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Scabs on the outside or inside of the ear
  • Constant rubbing or scratching of the ear
  • Trouble keeping balance

Natural Approaches

The following natural approaches are said to help prevent ear infections, or provide relief from the symptoms:

Towel Off

After swimming, hiking, camping, or any activity that takes you and your pet into the outdoors, make sure to towel off your pup’s ears. Gently dry both outside and inside your dog’s ears. This will help prevent bacteria and fungi from reproducing in the ears.

 

Natural Ear Washes

While not effective after an infection has occurred, natural washes and rinses can be helpful in preventing ear infections. A couple of drops of olive or coconut oil will do the trick. This gentle approach will help soften any extra earwax so that it can be removed naturally from the body, or by a quick wipe with a towel. Frequent rinsing can actually make ears more prone to infection, so wash sparingly (approximately once a month).


Switch Up Your Pet’s Diet


 

A few changes in your pup’s diet can help make them less vulnerable to ear infections. Dogs with high starch diets, for example, tend to suffer more ear infections, likely due to the extra yeast their diet exposes them to. Grain-free diets can help eliminate this issue (some vets suggest cutting out chicken, too). In general, aim for a diet that’s low in starch, preservatives, processed foods, and that’s as natural and raw as possible.

 

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is another natural approach for preventing ear infections. Mix a solution of half purified water with half apple cider vinegar; then, soak a cotton ball with this mixture and use it to gently clean your pup’s ear and ear flap. Make sure to use a cotton ball not a q-tip, so as to avoid potentially damaging the inner ear. This solution will help remove dirt and pollutants from the ear, as well as stifle the growth of unwanted fungi and bacteria. Just don’t use this solution if your pup’s ear is already swollen, red, or has open wounds or scabs; the acidic nature of the mixture will likely cause them pain if they already have these symptoms.

Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page and let us know what you think!

What You Need to Know About Ear Mites


What Are Ear Mites?

While there are several kinds of mites that can live in your cat or dog’s ears, “ear mites” usually refers to a specific type, Otodectes cynotis (an infestation with this mite is called “otodectic mange”). These nearly microscopic parasites can live deep inside the ear canal or on the more external portions of the ears. Their life cycle lasts approximately 4 weeks and they feed primarily on wax, oil, and skin debris. Ear mites typically cause inflammation and irritation, but significant damage to the ear and secondary infections may occur if left untreated. If your pup scratches hard enough they may also rupture blood vessels inside their ear flap, a condition known as aural hematoma. Surgery is usually required if this occurs.

How Do Pets Get Ear Mites

Ear mites are spread by contact with other animals infested with ear mites. Unfortunately, these parasites are extremely contagious, especially in younger cats and dogs. If your pet has been around other animals with ear mites, chances are they now have them, too.

 

What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Ear Mites

The following signs and symptoms are common with ear mite infestation:

  • Frequent shaking of the head
  • Frequent scratching near the ears, neck and head
  • Unpleasant odor
  • Black or red crusts on the outer ear
  • Ear inflammation
  • Abrasions on or around the ear
  • Dark, waxy discharge

 

What to Do if Your Pet Has Ear Mites

Because ear mites can be easily confused with common ear infections, it’s advisable to visit a veterinarian if you suspect ear mite infestation. As with any pest issue, prevention is always the preferred route as far as treatments go. Regular ear cleanings can help prevent ear mites, as can naturally sourced bug repellents applied before and after potential points of exposure—in other words, any time your pet is contact with other animals. From medications to natural alternatives and home remedies, there are several ways to approach the treatment of ear mites. Before attempting any treatments on your own, we urge you to consult your vet to see what options are right for you and your pet.


Advice for Cedarcide Customers

Here’s a tip we often give Cedarcide customers to help control ear mites: Dab a cotton ball with Cedarcide Original and gently massage it throughout your cat or dog’s ear.  Make sure to treat both the ear and the ear flap, but be careful not to treat down into the ear canal, as Cedarcide Original is not recommended for internal use. 

 

Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page and let us know what you think!

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